Tales from the Critic: A Trip to a Christmas Tree-less Outlets at Anthem

I slept… somewhat better last night. My mind kept wandering and therefore kept me up an awful lot (again) but I tried to train it onto happy thoughts that brought me closer to comfort. My hamstrings remained somewhat sore but a slight limp is better than a full-on hobble. Anyway, after my workout, I rushed out the door to do some produce shopping…


Afterward, I picked up the donations for the food ministry and dropped off another eBay sale at the post office. Once back at home, I ate breakfast and did some planning for Breakthrough Entertainment’s Cinco de Mayo Special, including finalizing the music and sending an e-mail officially offering a segment to my desired guest. Several stressful situations later, I drove to the Outlets at Anthem’s food court…


There, I redeemed a coupon that I had for a free original pretzel from Auntie Anne’s Pretzels as part of a promotion they offered for National Pretzel Day (which, for the record, was yesterday, but due to technical difficulties celebrations had to be postponed until today)…

Once back at home, I watched “The Chew” (which didn’t feature any recipes I intend to try even though pimento cheese nachos and gingered plums sound pretty appealing) and “Days of Our Lives.” I also enjoyed a little lunch, which included the free original pretzel I had gotten from Auntie Anne’s Pretzels…

Because eBay’s 500-fee-free-listings promotion was ending at Midnight, I continued to list items for sale until my mind was spinning. Speaking of spinning, I spun my cat You’re Next around as we danced to “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” when Ellen DeGeneres surprised her audience with a special springtime edition of 12 Days of Giveaways. (It has been a tradition for You’re Next and I to spin around in circles every time Ellen plays the song during the holidays.) You’re Next pretends she hates it but I know it is all just a facade and deep down she actually loves it. By the way, remember the other day when I said I went to Villa Pizza at the Outlets at Anthem food court to redeem a coupon I had for a free slice of pizza…?


Well, I enjoyed that free slice of pizza as an early evening snack while I wound down my day and watched an episode of “Big Brother Canada” (which I have fallen a few episodes behind on)…


The pizza was good but “Big Brother Canada” was bad because OMG Kevin is nominated for eviction! Nooo! By the way, before I go to bed, since there was so much talk of the Outlets at Anthem in today’s entry, I thought I would share a very sad picture with you…


Doesn’t the mall look empty without the big Christmas tree? Only 176 more days until it goes back up. And that, ladies and gentlemen, will be the happy thought I train my mind on tonight, for having something to look forward to – no matter how far away in the future it may be – is the most comforting thing of all.

Joseph J. Airdo

Joseph J. Airdo is a film critic, producer and on-air personality for Breakthrough Entertainment, a talk radio show airing 10-11 a.m. Saturdays on KPHX 1480 AM and BreakRadioShow.com that shines a spotlight on the practical perspectives of the topics and themes explored in movies. He has a pet duck named Frozen who is as opinionated about movies as he is. E-mail him at joseph.airdo@gmail.com.

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